Local fisherman says Byfield hermit no danger to others

CAR BLAZE: Fabian Spice puts out the last of the flames which engulfed a car in the Byfield National Park.
CAR BLAZE: Fabian Spice puts out the last of the flames which engulfed a car in the Byfield National Park. Contributed

3.30pm: A LOCAL fisherman who says he knows the man at the centre of an alleged incident at the Byfield National Park recently has spoken in support of the hermit.

In today's Morning Bulletin Gracemere's Sheridan Mosk says a recent family camping trip in the park area turned to terror when an elderly man "pointed a gun" at her partner's head.

The report has generated a lot of interest with a number of people contacting the paper.

However, a local fisherman who was at Kelly's Landing this morning, said the person involved was not a danger.

"He's lived in his caravan here for 40 years and he's very protective about his surroundings," the fisherman, who asked not to be identified, said.

"He's harmless though and normally just sticks to himself. If you get too close to his property he'll let you know but as far as I'm concerned he doesn't have any weapons.

"I sometimes take him to the shops in town so he can get supplies but other than that he doesn't bother anyone."


11am: CENTRAL Queensland campers are reporting online that the man squatting in Byfield National Park has been terrorizing campers for possible over 30 years.

Readers have posted comments on Facebook and The Bulletin website, sharing their tales of running into this guy, or a least being shot at, while being in the area for camping, fishing, riding or 4wd driving.

Sheridan Mosk shared her story with The Bulletin about camping on a beach off Kelly's Landing Rd recently with her four-year-old daughter and her partner.

Sheridan said they had come across the old guy earlier in the day when they discovered a car on fire in the park and her partner tried to extinguish the fire.

Later, as they were preparing dinner, the old guy has returned to their camp site, dressed in dark clothing and pointed a rifle at her partner, sniper style.


Janette Little - We have met him too. Threatened to shoot us and all Our kids. It was very scary cause he just came out of nowhere. Reported it to the ranger and had police come to our camp site and take a statement. They said they knew he'd been there for years.

Adam Kirsty Bailey - We had a guy pull a gun out on us up there about 17 years ago and told us this was not a camping area and leave now . Umm safe to say we got outta there pretty quick

Meagan Goltz - I've heard this man has done this before. Threatening people with guns and one time an axe. Crazy. Police need to do something before he hurts someone

Leigh Panda Maclean - That crazy old man has been up there for years

"I'm 110% sure he was going to kill us," Sheridan said after a horror-movie like experience camping in Byfield recently What is the scariest experience you've had?

Posted by The Morning Bulletin on Monday, June 15, 2015

binone from Rockhampton  - This sort of stuff has been going on up there for years, surprisingly he has not seriously injured or killed some one.
30 + years ago we had a shot fired at us up around the horse shoe area, and a few years ago a mate mate had his unattended tinny taken from the first gutter area and hidden back in the mangroves.
This guy confronted them with an axe as they were looking around the area, and they got the boat back, but he had to go to his then camp to get them the fuel tank he had removed.
He has had several camps in the area, one an old drum house boat, absolute rubbish that the authorities cannot find him, so who will accept responsibility should the worst finally occur. 



9.25am: AVID campers and outdoor lovers of Central Queensland have been posting about the old guy squatting in Byfield National Park this morning after one family's 'sniper in the dark' experience.

Sheridan Mosk shared her story with The Bulletin about camping on a beach off Kelly's Landing Rd recently with her four-year-old daughter and her partner.

Sheridan said they had come across the old guy earlier in the day when they discovered a car on fire in the park and her partner tried to extinguish the fire.

Later, as they were preparing dinner, the old guy has returned to their camp site, dressed in dark clothing and pointed a rifle at her partner, sniper style.

Central Queensland campers and outdoor lovers have reported coming across the old guy over the years.

One person says he has been known to shot at bikers.

Another says that he only shoots at people checking crab pots and that they had spoken to him a few times and he did seem a bit 'crazy'.

"Apparently every time they try to find him he goes bush for days and just disappears," one person posted on a Central Queensland Facebook page.

A few have called for the old man to arrested by authorities for shooting at people .

5am: A WEEKEND camping trip in Byfield National Park will be one that Sheridan Mosk will remember for the rest of her life - but not for the reasons she was hoping.

According to Sheridan, the getaway with her partner and her four-year-old daughter turned into a terrifying nightmare when a man appeared in the night and aimed a gun at her partner's head.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened on Saturday night two weekends ago.

Even now Sheridan gets heart palpitations thinking about the man's "Wolf Creek-style" set-up in the middle of the national park.

"I'm 110% sure he was going to kill us," she said.

"It's coming up to camping season, what's going to happen to the next family who decides to go down there?"

Sheridan and her partner, Fabian Spice, decided to take Sheridan's daughter Mackenzie camping in the Byfield National Park on June 6 but found the main camping spot was too busy.

They decided to have a look around for another spot and ended up following a 4WD track which led to an open section near the beach.

There was a small hill near the clearing, and halfway through their lunch they noticed black smoke and flames coming from there.

They rushed up to find a car on fire, and as Sheridan called 000 Fabian began fighting the flames and eventually put it out, as emergency services had difficulty finding them.

While they were up there they saw an old man, who Sheridan said appeared to be in his 70s.

They offered him some food and water and he came down to their campsite with them, but she said they couldn't get a conversation out of him until they sat down.

Sheridan said he then started talking about wars, particularly World War II, Australia's gun laws and how people have no way to defend themselves.

She said about 1pm they parted ways and didn't see him for the rest of the afternoon.

As they made dinner Sheridan said they kept hearing rustling sounds, which they assumed was an animal in the bush.

But things took a turn for the terrifying worse, she said, when Fabian walked over to their vehicle and saw the man standing there, dressed in black.

He had a bright torch in one hand, shining in Fabian's face, and a rifle in the other.

Sheridan said she tried to defuse the situation by talking to him, but as she did so she shoved Mackenzie into the car under some blankets and told her not to move or make a sound.

As her partner turned on his own torch Sheridan said the man, who previously had appeared almost crippled, "dropped down like a sniper" and pointed the gun at Fabian's head.

Because the man's light was shining in Fabian's eyes, Sheridan said he couldn't see what was happening.

"I started screaming, I yelled to Fabian 'he's going to shoot us, get in the car'," she said.

"Even now it scares me to think about it.

"I feel like we're emotionally scarred."

She said the couple dived into the car and took off, leaving behind all their belongings, including their boat and trailer.

The next day police escorted Fabian back to the site to pick it all up, but there was no sign of the man.

Police say the man is known to them and has been squatting there on Kelly's Landing Rd for 30 years, but won't talk to them.

Topics:  byfield crime editors picks gun police rockhampton

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